Thursday, January 19, 2017

Frostblood by Elly Blake

Frostblood by Elly Blake
Release Date -  January 10, 2017
Publisher Website - Hachette Canada
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 376 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received from publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
The frost king will burn.

Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has concealed her powers of heat and flame from the cruel Frostblood ruling class her entire life. But when her mother is killed trying to protect her, and rebel Frostbloods demand her help to overthrow their bloodthirsty king, she agrees to come out of hiding, desperate to have her revenge.

Despite her unpredictable abilities, Ruby trains with the rebels and the infuriating—yet irresistible—Arcus, who seems to think of her as nothing more than a weapon. But before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to compete in the king’s tournaments that pit Fireblood prisoners against Frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her—and from the icy young man she has come to love.
Star-crossed lovers is a familiar trope to most book lovers. We've all read our fair share of books that embrace this trope and its forbiddenness. Frostblood offers up Elly Blake's take on a star-crossed romance and ends up providing an entertaining read in the process.

This novel is a fantasy that reads as contemporary. This is may way of saying that casual fantasy fans will love this book as well. It's a 'lighter' fantasy which is perfect for readers who are just dipping their toe into the world of fantasy. It has those elements, but the characters, not necessarily the world building, are what drive the story. I feel this will especially appeal to younger teens who are just discovering the genre. Fantasy fans will appreciate the world that is built and hunger for more from the subsequent novels to come in this series.

Romance fans will also delight in this novel. The romance in this one offers up plenty of banter due the personalities of the characters. Ruby and Arcus clash as much as you would expect and it makes for many humour filled moments. If you like your love stories to be filled with snark and tension this delivers in all the best ways.

Ruby's temper is a fiery as her gift. She's strong willed, capable, and determined. She has strength and vulnerability much like fire itself. She is just beginning to learn about her gift and her story arc is all about embracing all of herself, even the parts that scare her or that she doesn't like about herself. This element grounds the story and makes it relatable to pretty much everyone. We've all struggled with accepting ourselves in some way. Arcus is as cold as his frost and has his emotions walled in. It is a direct contrast to Ruby whose emotions are on full display. He is brave, loyal and has a hidden sense of humour that shows itself now and again. It is easy to fall into the story because you enjoy both these characters. It is made even better by the fact that you enjoy both of them together and on their own. The draw is not just their relationship.

This novel is, obviously, the beginning of a larger story but the book really does feel self contained. There are teases of what is to come, but there is a clear beginning, middle and end to the arc in this particular book. The tease of what is to come is more than enough to ensure you'll want to read the next book. What is left to discover about the mythology and history behind the powers of fire and ice is enough of a hook.

A promising start to a new series that offers up a strong willed main character, and plenty of romantic charm. If you are looking for a lighter fantasy novel this should be on your radar. I look forward to continuing Ruby and Arcus' story in future installments and that is largely due to how Elly Blake crafted their world and characters. 

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